Islam is closely identified with the Arab world, and the Middle East.
That may be why it's so hard to sort out what's Islamic and what's Arabic, or Middle Eastern.
I think it's important to figure out where Islam ends and Middle Eastern cultural standards begin. It's easy to assume that
- Outfits like the Taliban and Al Qaeda, which claim to be defending Islam, represent typical Islamic beliefs
- Saudi Arabia represents the best and brightest that Islam has to offer, in terms of a government following Islamic beliefs
- Not long ago, the local Taliban told a teenage boy in Afghanistan was told to stop teaching English after school. When he disobeyed them, the Taliban members dragged him into the street and executed him. Unpleasantly.
- The Taliban have killed teachers and students before, for attending government-run schools. The Taliban think those schools are un-Islamic.
- Meanwhile, back in Saudi Arabia, a young woman was raped. She's going to be lashed 200 times, and do jail time.
- It took "six heavily-armed men" - maybe seven - to carry off the assault. They were sentenced to between one and five years.
- The young woman was sentenced to 90 lashes first, for being in a car with a man who isn't an immediate relative. The 200 lashes came after she talked to the press about what was being done to her.
- To be fair, the rapists' sentences were increased, too: Now they're supposed to serve two to nine years.
- Shiite Muslims aren't happy about this little matter. She's Shiite. The rapists are Sunni. Sunni Muslims run Saudi Arabia.
I'll be back to this topic again.
Related posts, on Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror.
Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.